‘The pleasure of women has never been the first thing on the to-do list’: Emma Thompson

Between superhero movies, action plotlines and romantic comedies, the summer opening season isn’t known for its attention to female sexuality.

But right in the middle of Hollywood’s male action flicks and sci-fi fantasies stands “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande,” a comedy in which Emma Thompson plays a widow seeking romantic thrills with an affable sex worker. played by newcomer Daryl McCormack. The film, a Searchlight Pictures release debuting June 17 on Hulu, is an intimate course on rarely discussed topics of sexuality and shame, pleasure and repression.

“It’s like a small atomic bomb. As the cell divides, it reaches people who are very energized because there is so much to talk about. It pushes a lot of particular buttons in our minds.”relates Thompson in an interview conducted by Zoom from Scotland.

$!Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack in a scene from the film directed by Sophie Hyde.

Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack in a scene from the film directed by Sophie Hyde.

“Good Luck to You, Leo Grande“, directed by Sophie Hyde and written by Katy Brandtakes place almost entirely in a hotel room in londonyes, where Nancy (Thompson) Y Leo (McCormack) have four meetings. Nancy she is a religious studies teacher who has never had an orgasm, has deep-seated insecurities about her body, and has, up to this point, spent her life repressing her desires. LeoInstead, he is calmly balanced and believes wholeheartedly in giving satisfaction to others.

For Thompson, “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” is nothing short of revolutionary in its willingness to be candid about issues that are usually hidden under the covers.

“Let’s face it, the pleasure of women has never been, so to speak, the first thing on the to-do list in current systems”says the Hollywood veteran. “It’s never been: Oh, we really need to address that.”.

$!Searchlight Pictures is the producer of the film.

Searchlight Pictures is the producer of the film.

the actress of 63 years delivers a surprisingly open and inquisitive performance. She has, as she once aptly summed up the New York Times, “an iron sense of herself and how things should be”. But while many of his most iconic films — “Howard’s End”, “The Remains of the Day”, “Sense and Sensitivity”- have placed their intelligent and empathetic moral clarity in discreet characters, “Big Leo” shows that she is just as clear when it comes to matters of sex and pleasure.

“I have always relied on physical pleasure, as long as it sits right in the emotional centers of the body. I never thought it was wrong.”He says Thompson. “Giving yourself pleasure is fantastic. It’s just extraordinary that one can do that. If you think about the history of masturbation, it’s just appalling what the Christian faith, and I’m sure other religions. The fact that it was prohibited pleasure for oneself, for the body, it seems to me deeply problematic and a terrible sin, a real evil for beings humans. We are designed to experience pleasure, clearly”.

Guide to talking about sex

Thompson says he has thought for years about the problems behind “Big Leo”. When she received the script, “I was impressed by her in the same way that she impressed me Margaret Schlegel When I had 30 years”, he says in reference to his role in the 1992 period drama “Howard’s End” from james ivory and ismail merchant for which he received an Oscar. Years ago, the actress made a manual for her daughter as a guide to talk about sex beyond the way society classifies, distorts or minimizes it.

“It’s hard for us to be honest about the sex. It’s hard to talk about that. It has become a taboo and, at the same time, it has been industrialized and sold as canned ham”He says Thompson. “I was talking about the centers of pleasure in it brainin the body and in the heart. They are very, very important because it is not just one. It’s quite rare for all of those things to be stimulated in the right way at the same time. We are so complicated, aren’t we, and we are unwilling to acknowledge that complication because it makes life more difficult. But actually, in the end, it makes life more interesting”.

When McCormack was considered for the part, the Irish actor from 29 years known for “Peaky BlindersHe went to meet Thompson at home in London. They spent two hours talking on a bench in the park. The next morning, she texted him saying, “I’ll see you on set.”

“She was on her front door step talking to one of her neighbors. I think she was just finishing up doing some gardening.”He says McCormack. “I just remember that she saw me and was so friendly and welcoming. It felt like something clicked. She invited me in. I needed to go to the bathroom. I used her bathroom under the stairs. That’s where he keeps his two awards Oscar.

“I quickly understood that there was no pretense in it”he adds. “I felt his passion for this instantly.”

Although “Big Leo” was filmed in just 19 days, the actors rehearsed beforehand, even performing nude. Making the film was an unusually deep connection and download experience for Thompson Y McCormack. Thompson says that an exercise in which she tries to stand naturally, without judgment, naked in front of a mirror and poses as Eve andin renaissance painting Albrecht Durerit was the most difficult acting challenge I have ever faced.

“I thought: that is the position I would like to be in. A completely innocent position. I am not moving my body to make it look better or more like what I think it should be. I need to be completely relaxed. And I realized that that was virtually impossible.”.

Thompson is the only person who has won Academy Awards both for acting and for script. He wrote “Sense and Sensitivity” from ang lee and a couple of movies from “Nanny McPhee”. (In Scotland, Thompson andwas writing a musical adaptation of “Nanny McPhee”). Although the papers offered to the 40 widely disappointed—a shortage that prompted her to write screenplays—considers the roles she played in her fifty Y 60 “By far the most interesting I have ever done”.

That’s largely because another generation of female filmmakers, like Brand Y Mindy Kaling, who directed her in “late night” (“They rule”) by 2019They wrote movies for her.

“These young women have seen something, not necessarily in me. I guess it’s about receiving those opportunities and being perennially interested in the status of women.” actress.

With AP information

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